Der Weg Einer Freiheit interview (09/2019)
|With:||Nikita Kamprad, Nico Ziska|
|Conducted by:||RaduP (in person)|
Der Weg Einer Freiheit
This wasn't the first time I saw either Der Weg Einer Freiheit or Downfall Of Gaia, and funnily enough I saw both of them in the same year, 2015, albeit at different festivals. But both bands were so great that I had to see them again, not that I needed much convincing to see an affordable gig in my home city. Having already interviewed Downfall Of Gaia, interviewing Der Weg Einer Freiheit too was a given. I even took some pics at the concert.
RP: We're here with...
NK: Der Weg Einer Freiheit, this is Nikita.
NZ: And Nico.
RP: How is the tour so far?
NK: It's going really well. We were a bit surprised that it's actually going so well.
RP: Until now.
NK: *laughs* Until now, yes. I think we really have a strong fanbase in Romania somehow. Maybe because we played this Dark Bombastic Evening festival twice, which was a great experience, one of the best festivals I had so far. I think many people got to know us and I think that's why the shows are doing quite ok. I think today we'll have like a hundred people and tomorrow and then in Brasov maybe even more like 150 or something hopefully. So that's really quite ok because we never really did club shows in this part of Europe. And also with Downfall Of Gaia, we've known each other for a very long time, we're really close friends, it's a pleasure to tour with them and play together on the same stage.
RP: How did you decide which one is the headlining band and which one is the supporting one?
NK: Oh, actually that was our booking agency. We're on the same booking agency, so it made a lot of organisation stuff very easy. I think our booking agent got to the promoters with a package of both bands. We didn't talk about that in between the bands, but Downfall Of Gaia is ok with it and we would be ok with like a rotating headliner spot, because it's a co-headlining tour with both bands having the same playtime and both the same standing. It somehow turned out that we would play last but it's not meant to be as a headliner with a support band. It's just two bands...
NZ: ...but someone has to start.
RP: It's alphabetically probably.
NZ: *laughs* Yeah, maybe.
RP: How long have you been friends with Downfall Of Gaia and how did you get to tour together so often?
NK: We had a tour together 2015. It was the release tour of our album Stellar, and they also put out their new album at about the same time, and the idea was created even way before that, but until then there was no possibility to tour together, so the first time was in 2015. It was our biggest tour actually. It was 25 days in a row in a sprinter van, very very exhausting, not like now with a nightliner. Much more comfortable and chill. But it was a very nice tour and we got together very closely. And from then on we played a couple of festivals together. And also last year we went to Japan and we wanted to repeat the tour in the eastern part of Europe.
RP: And how does it compare to Japan?
NK: The shows or... ?
RP: No, the country.
NK: *laughs* Oh, the country.
NZ: Not at all. *laughs*
RP: Yeah, not so many flashing lights.
NK: Yeah. *laughs* And uh... we love Romania and all the eastern cultures and landscapes and the people here. It's a different world than western Europe or Japan or America, even though I wasn't there before. It's very nice, all the people are really really nice and welcoming and passionate about the music.
RP: Plus the Japanese get one extra song on their albums.
NK: That's right but not for us.
RP: Thankfully. You don't bow to that. What's your favorite Downfall Of Gaia song other than "We Pursue The Serpent Of Time"?
NK: There's one song and I don't know the title and I'm sorry, but it's a long song and it slows down, they'll also play it live today, it slows down and fades out and then the bass does some strong hits of *distorted bass vocalization*.
RP: Well you just described all of their songs.
NK: *laughs* Somehow. No, it's this particular song I really like. It's also a song that they played in 2015 on this tour and that stayed in my mind.
RP: Oh, that one also was like *distorted bass vocalization*, right?
NK: *laughs* Yeah, all the bass is just *distorted bass vocalization*. It's a small guy but a heavy bass tone. Maybe Nico has a favorite.
NZ: Yeah, but I have to look up the title really quickly, it's also from the latest album, I'm not good with song titles. *looks it up* It's called "As Our Bones Break To The Dance". They have something like a guitar solo in it that and great drumming by Michael and I really enjoy that song.
Live In Berlin
RP: This year is your band's tenth anniversary, and it marks the release of the Live In Berlin album. What can you tell us about the performance, why that specific performance, and why a live album?
NK: Actually all this like album was like a coincidence, it wasn't planned. We had a new setup with our own microphones and mixers and everything, just an USB cable to plug into the computer and press "record" and multitrack the whole show. And we did it for three shows and actually I didn't tell anyone. I checked out the show that I recorded when I was home.
RP: And you didn't tell anyone that it was recorded, not even the band members?
NK: I told them that maybe I will record some songs to see what happens but I didn't propose to do a live album. But I liked the performance in Berlin, which was the last show of the twenty-something shows that we did. It turned out really good with the performance and crowd and everything. I tried to mix the tracks and it sounded pretty decent so why not make a live album?
RP: Yeah, it doesn't sound awful.
NK: *laughs* Yeah.
RP: It was a good idea not to tell the crowd that you were recording them. They probably would've shouted something like "Penis" just to get it on the recording.
NK: *laughs* Yeah. But there were a few people in the venue, which is very quiet and very intimate, screaming "Lichtmensch" all the way because they wanted to hear it. So we played it afterwards. *laughs*
RP: Have you started working on a new record?
NK: A few ideas are written . Actually two songs are finished. But not really elaborate enough to say something about the album entirely. It takes a lot of time for me to get a concept for the album emerging. You can't tell from just one song how the album will look like. So hard to say anything about the sound but we hope to be able to go into the studio in fall next year maybe and then maybe release it in 2021. That's the plan but can't say anything more about that.
RP: Well don't take as long as Tool did.
RP: Have you listened to it?
NK: Once. But you'd better ask Nico, I think he likes it.
NZ: Hello. The latest album is not my favorite I would say, but I really like the two ones before that. I've seen them at Rock In Park this year and ever since I've been listening to it all the time.
NK: *laughs* He's listening to it right now in his earphones.
RP: Why is the band called "Der Weg Einer Freiheit" instead of "Der Weg Der Freiheit"?
NK: There's a difference in the German language, with "der" you have "the".
RP: "The freedom" instead of "one freedom", right?
NK: Yeah, a certain freedom. For me it was important that there is no certain freedom. Every human being has their own perception of freedom, a way to get to their own freedom. For me it is music and writing and enjoying the work that I'm doing. For others it can be sports, cooking or something totally different. But if you have found your passion, it's a great feeling. This band is all about the way to find this freedom for yourself. There is no certain "the freedom", "die Freiheit"...
RP: ...aber "eine Freiheit".
NK: Some freedom and you have to find it for yourself. There are many many ways. And that was important for me when choosing this name.
RP: Die eigene Freiheit.
RP: If you weren't native German speakers I would've said that you made a translation mistake.
NK: *laughs* Yeah, English doesn't really have that distinction between terms that German has.
RP: You released a demo ten years ago and the self-titled album right after it. They're almost the same album, but can you tell us the difference between them?
NK: Musically and lyrically they're really identical. When we released the demo, in lack of a drummer I used a drum computer.
RP: That explains why they sound so shitty.
NK: Yeah, but many people came to me and asked "How the hell did you do the drums so naturally?" "Ok, it's a drum computer, I don't know" *laughs* But people liked it apparently. There was one label in particular, Viva Hate Records that showed interest in re-releasing it. And then we got to know our first drummer, who is now the drummer of Heaven Shall Burn, it's Chris Bass.
RP: Chris Barnes?
NK: No, not Chris Barnes. *laughs* He offered to re-record the album with real drumming and we thought that it's a great idea so we re-recorded the guitars and the bass as well, but we left the vocals.
RP: So other than the vocals, everything is re-recorded.
NK: Right. But still the same riffs, the same songs, nothing changed.
RP: Yeah, but I wanted to know if it's just a remaster with new drums or if it's a re-recording. It makes a difference for us, because it means that it's another record. Just like Dimmu Borgir re-recording Stormblåst.
RP: Is Illusion Of Strength done with?
NK: I think so. I don't have anything to do with it. I just played the guitars.
RP: It was like 2013?
NK: Yeah, something like that. There was a good friend who also lived in Würzburg, the town where I live, and he asked me to help him on a project after our band split up, if I can record some guitars and I said "Alright". We did some nice music, but apart from that nothing else happened to the band ever.
RP: Ok, so after recording the EP, done!
NK: Yeah, it was not a real band.
RP: It was more like "Let's do an album and then we're done". Everywhere I look you're still credited as an active member of the band.
NK: Ok, I didn't know that actually.
RP: Yeah, that's why I asked, to fix some loose ends.
RP: Do you think your black metal credibility would be at stake if people found out that you were in a deathcore band?
NK: Yeah, that was my previous band that I was talking about with the guy from Illusion Of Strength. He was the bassist in the band and I was a guitarist. We had no real problems, but people did come across the fact that we had this band like in the early days, 2010, and they were like "Huh, can they actually do black metal? How is it actually possible?", but we never cared about that or any opinion. So in about 2010 the band split up and yeah it was a nice time and also an important time for me to grow as a musician, I was about twenty or nineteen when I created this band so it was nothing that I wish I wouldn't have done or something like that.
RP: Why is your website password protected?
NK: My personal one?
RP: Yeah, I went to your Facebook page and there's your website linked there.
NK: Oh yeah, yeah. Facebook sucks because I just wanted to change the ".de" to ".com" and I changed it and then everyone of the followers got a notification that I changed it and everyone clicked on it, but it's not finished yet, so it's password protected now. That's the reason. But I want to publish it soon. That is just for my own personal work as a music producer to show people what I'm doing, for references and all that so nothing too special.
RP: The decade is almost over. What do you think are some records from this decade that you think would be regarded as classics in the future?
NK: *silence* Maybe Nico got a...?
NZ: Black metal or in total?
RP: Total. Whatever you want. Black metal cult classics, maybe pop classics, hip-hop classics.
NZ: Now that we were talking about Tool I think that definitely the new Tool because they broke a lot of records already.
RP: They even took over Taylor Swift in the charts.
NZ: Yeah, exactly. Black metal, I don't know, maybe the latest Watain record. *silence* For me personally, Citizen - Everybody Is Going To Heaven. It's like a grungy pop punk, but not the happy pop punk stuff. It's hard to tell a classic, like a real classic.
NK: Yeah, there are albums for sure, but it's hard to get it into your mind when you have to answer.
RP: I suppose this would've been an easier question to answer through E-mail.
NK: But to name one, which totally blew me away, it was in 2013 the latest Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories. For an electronic music album, it had so much humanity in it, with all the analog synthesizers it doesn't feel like something born in a computer. I like Daft Punk quite a lot and when this album came out years after the last one and still after six years it is their latest album. It had quite an effect on me, I must say. And for heavier music, it's a smaller band that I really enjoy, it's Nightbringer, they put out Terra Damnata last year or the year before that. I really really enjoyed this album.
RP: And if someone were to make a Dissection tribute album and invited you to cover a Dissection song, which would it be?
NZ: I cannot name a song from them. I like them. I listen to them. But I cannot name a song from them, to be honest.
RP: What was the last novel that you read?
NK: I think it was Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I went through almost all of his books and all of his novels because I was really amazed by Steppenwolf, which served as an inspiration for the last album. And Demian as well. All these books by him are really really inspiring. And I think Siddhartha was the last one I read.
RP: And if it were to be adapted into a movie, who would you like to direct the adaptation?
NK: Oh, there's a southern Korean director, Park Chan-wook, who did Oldboy for example, and I loved that movie and I imagine that he'd be a good choice.
RP: If I get in contact with him I'll tell him to do that.
NK: *laughs* Ok.
RP: And this is something that I asked of Dominik as well. How many former states of the former Holy Roman Empire can you name?
NZ: Italy. *laughs*
NK: *silence* No, that's pretty hard.
RP: Voltaire's nightmare.
RP: He's the one who said it's neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire.
NK: No, I can't really tell. There was never something in the history lessons where we had to learn...
RP: ...all those small city states from before Prussia and Austria gargled them all up.
RP: Can you name ten?
NK: Ten? No. *laughs* I think Bavaria might be one.
RP: Bavaria, yes.
NK: And Baden-Württemberg?
RP: Yeah, that's two more. Holstein.
NK: Holstein, ok, could be. Schleswig too. I don't know how Poland was divided like into states?
RP: Depends on the point in history. Poland was divided three times.
NK: But were they in the Holy Roman Empire?
RP: No, they weren't part of it.
NK: Are you a specialist in this?
RP: No, I like to play Europa Universalis.
NK: Ok *laughs* But why this question?
RP: Because you're German.
NK: Oh, sorry. *laughs*
RP: Yeah, we'll leave it at that. Anything else you'd like to add?
NK: We talked a lot I think. Enjoy writing it all down [I didn't]. And as I said in our first question, we really really like to play here.
RP: Did you like the food?
NK: The food was good as well. Nothing to complain about. We're all vegetarian and I know that the eastern countries are rather meat oriented.
RP: Yes, but you can pretend that you're fasting for religious reasons and they'll have everything without meat and cheese.
NK: Ok, that's good to know, maybe I'll say instead of "Vegetarian food" "We are all fasting".
RP: And you'll have a lot of food with potatoes or cabbage or beans. We call it "de post" which means "for fasting" because, as you can tell, eastern Europeans are very religious. So if you tell someone that you're a vegetarian you'll get suspicious looks, but tell them that you're fasting and it's all ok, they can respect that.
NK: *laughs* Thank you very much!
RP: Thank you too!
||Posted on 19.09.2019 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.|
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